23rd Oct: It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.
Total posts:  1
Writing Process Questions:
...it wasn't necessarry and your response still isn't/never was relevant. I said my guess is there are more people who don't write than otherwise. Your reaction is telling me that the fact that they haven't told me doesn't me that they don't do it. How was my repsonse missing the point? Edit again: Nevermind.
edited 17th Jul '11 12:53:16 PM by Dealan
Thou errant flap-dragon!
Most people write even if it is only on occasion, and even if they don't talk about it.
Most people also don't write. Period. No, I don't base that on anything. It's not like I can prove that everyone's been hiding from me the fact that they write. It's still totally and undisputably true!You implied that what kashchei said is false. I tried to show you why it is true: people don't always talk about their writing.
Note that after I said that I don't base that guess on any fact, I say that it's "still totally and undisputably true!". Also note the exlamation mark. Some tags are indeed necessarry, in the end. Edit: (Oh. Thanks, by the way.) BUT THEN WHY DID YOU REPLY WITH A HEADDESK Okay, I fucked up in every way with communications in this thread, so nevermind.
edited 17th Jul '11 1:12:17 PM by Dealan
Thou errant flap-dragon!I was operating on the assumption you were being sarcastic.
edited 17th Jul '11 1:01:31 PM by snowfoxofdeath
Eye'm the cutest!
Write ClubOh No You Didn't.
"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
@ Dealan "Where did you get this idea?" From interacting with people? You might be misinterpreting "writing" as meaning that they are actively working towards publishing an easily marketable four-volume series whose abundance of action will make it a perfect candidate for the newest Hollywood 'it' franchise; what I mean is that people will write their thoughts down, compose a poem or two, wax particularly lyrical in their diary, whatever. Most people I've met write, creatively, in one form or another. They aren't all looking for an audience, they aren't all looking to publish, and they don't always think they have something important to say. "However, I don't see why "most people write, they just don't talk about it" is more valid than "most people don't write". You can't prove either." You're being a mite too literal. People will mention it in passing, or you might stumble upon their poetry/shorter prose works if you ever have access to their notebooks or computers. @ Leradny "The fact that I acknowledge all of my influences." How is that a quality associated with the voice, and how does that make you stand out? Many people acknowledge their influences, whether through overt references or subtle allusions. Certain works (The Once and Future King and Money: A Suicide Note come to mind; likewise, anything by Rushdie and Eco) are incredibly dense with both, and if they are in a minority, it is not small one by any stretch of the imagination.
edited 17th Jul '11 1:14:40 PM by kashchei
Mister Master1. Why do you write? Sounds pretty straight forward, but do you write because you feel like there is a story you want to tell, or because there are certain ideas you want to get across, or because there are characters whose histories and lives you want to explore, or because...? Is it for fun, profit, a combination of both? I don't really write much at all, I just aspire to. But the reason is probably because I enjoy creating things that I can show people rather than having ideas floating around in my head. Belly-up. Like dead fish. Oh, and writing seems like a good channel for pent-up feelings. 2. What is your chosen genre? Is it fiction, nonfiction, realism, fantasy, magical realism, satire, etc.? Do you incorporate different styles and genres into your writing? I find that what I tend to be interested in writing is action/adventure, (science) fantasy and supernatural fiction. 3. What are your influences? Are there writers whose prose or world-building skills or ideas you particularly admire? In your writing, do you try to adopt and emulate your influences? Would people laugh at me if I said Hiromu Arakawa? Being inspired by a manga doesn't seem like something that's generally encouraged, but her work did rekindle my interest in writing after I'd decided it probably wasn't my calling. Other than that, I'm inspired by pretty much every show, movie, game or book that I like in various ways. The World Ends with You influenced a lot of my views on good characterization. 4. What do you feel makes your voice stand out? Most people write, even if it is only on occasion, and even if they don't talk about it. What makes your story worth telling? We'll see about that when I actually write something that isn't a terrible fanfic or a completely uninspired original story. 5. Are your stories plot- or character-driven? Would you compromise your ideas for a character, or would you be willing to deal with your characters harshly in order to make a point? Ideally I'd want a balance. My friend tells me plot is next to meaningless compared to characterization, but I don't think that's true because the characters and plot mutually drive and shape one another. It's almost impossible to divorce one from the other, I find. A character's backstory and events that helped shape them into who they are today are still part of the plot. I wouldn't want to forsake having an interesting plot, anyway. It can be both plot-driven and character-driven. 6. What are your criteria for good writing? Interesting, complex and flawed characters that I can either relate to or otherwise feel for; large amounts of research and work shown; realistic themes, even if the plot and setting are unrealistic.
"Would people laugh at me if I said Hiromu Arakawa?" Course not. Manga (and the comic book medium in general) is not so significantly different from prose, especially not when the genre relies on skillful world-building. I find Arakawa quite inspirational myself in terms of her characters and setting.
Three-Puppet Saluter1. Why do you write? Sounds pretty straight forward, but do you write because you feel like there is a story you want to tell, or because there are certain ideas you want to get across, or because there are characters whose histories and lives you want to explore, or because...? Is it for fun, profit, a combination of both? I write because I've got a good story to tell, but I seem to get an especially giddy thrill out of being coy and messing with people. 2. What is your chosen genre? Is it fiction, nonfiction, realism, fantasy, magical realism, satire, etc.? Do you incorporate different styles and genres into your writing? Fantasy, but I've been branching out lately. In any case, I like to focus of intrigue - I'm no Tsugumi Ohba, but I'm getting closer. Practice and good sense, my friends. 3. What are your influences? Are there writers whose prose or world-building skills or ideas you particularly admire? In your writing, do you try to adopt and emulate your influences? Ohba and Rowling consume my life, but really, all I've taken away from them is a sense of how to make a good plot twist. I guess I'll have to credit Tolkien, because where would any writer of a fantasy world be without him. And obviously, I'm currently writing an adaptation, so kudos to the person who wrote the source material. But my writing style doesn't appear to come from any of the above. Odd. 4. What do you feel makes your voice stand out? Most people write, even if it is only on occasion, and even if they don't talk about it. What makes your story worth telling? My fanfic is worth telling because nobody really focuses on the little guy in this fandom. My adaptation is worth telling because everybody is looking at the source material from the wrong angle. And my fantasy story, quite frankly, isn't worth telling. The bit about historical grudges is pretty cool, but there are only so many things to say about it and the rest of the story is a slog. 5. Are your stories plot- or character-driven? Would you compromise your ideas for a character, or would you be willing to deal with your characters harshly in order to make a point? Well, I guess I turned in my license to say I didn't compromise characters when I decided how to deal with the first part of the second act of my adaptation so that the second act can get on with things. God, I'm still revolted by my decision there. So I'm plot-driven. But when I compromise a character, it's right down to the root. They never make an uncharacteristic choice because my will demands it. 6. What are your criteria for good writing? Do you meet them? What kind of writing faux-pas eliminate your suspension of disbelief and makes you unable to continue reading? Writing must be interesting and credible. By interesting, I mean that the characters must be in some way out of the ordinary, and that their struggles must have a real possibility of turning out either in their favor or against them. By credible, I mean that an award-winning editorial writer must show genuine wit and deep political thought. I think I pass, but I'm not a very good judge of my own credibility.
Hail Martin Septim!
Mister MasterThat's true. I'm not really one for prose and would like to make comics anyway, so...
This foreboding is fa...1. Because the stories won't leave me alone. The ideas come and they're too good not to make something of them. Every time I would read or watch something, I'd always find myself constructing alternative versions, extra characters, different scenarios, anything to fill the void left by the ending of these stories. Eventually, this fanfiction in my head started mating, and somewhere several generations down the line, gave birth to actual stories. 2. Generally fantasy or sci-fi. These have always been my favorite genres in books, and they feel less limiting in terms of scope or possibility. Of course, in order for this to be completely true, you'd have to lump Borghes under fantasy/sci-fi, and I'm not entirely sure that's accurate. 3. Ye gods, where do I begin. Louis Borghes, Tolkein, O.S. Card, Pratchett, Pullman, Brian Jacques, Glen Cook...I mean, I'm fully aware of the fact that anything I've read or viewed is essentially an influence on my writing. So it's a pretty long list. Longer than I care to type up, in fact, but I try to stay aware of where my ideas are coming from. 4. Don't know. I'd love to think there's something, but how would I know what it is? I'm not seeing the story as it is on paper, I'm seeing the story as it is in my head and clumsily attempting to stuff it onto paper. I have a hard time telling what's successfully made the transition and what hasn't. 5. I've had both, really. The only longer piece I've worked on is plot, but only because the characters are all essentially pawns in a much, much bigger game. To put it bluntly, those characters are almost to a man/woman getting shafted pretty badly. But some of my other stuff is/would be more character driven, which is probably why they're shorter/I haven't written them yet. 6. Much like the vaunted US supreme court quote on pornography, "I have no idea, but I'll know when I see read it."
edited 17th Jul '11 6:06:44 PM by deathjavu
Look, you can't make me speak in a logical, coherent, intelligent bananna.
I changed accounts.1. Why do you write? — Because I have ideas that might be worth being told. 2. What is your chosen genre? — Speculative Fiction, typically leaning towards the Science Fiction end of Science Fiction Versus Fantasy. 3. What are your influences? — Everything, especially since my exposure to this site; I'll go for a car ride and come up with fifty ideas, now usually expressed in trope-form. The single biggest literary influence would have to be Stephen King, however. 4. What do you feel makes your voice stand out? — The grandness of the ideas. Whether or not they're good, they're always big when I write them, whether it's a million warships in space or a million soldiers in the trenches, I almost can't write "small things." 5. Are your stories plot- or character-driven? — Why, that's actually an excellent question. I begin with a setting and a story. I then create characters to fill that setting and story, and mold the story to the characters. Occasionally I'll do it the other way around, but I try for character-driven as much as possible. Often, my stories feel like both at once, considering the level of ridiculous bigness they can get to be. 6. What are your criteria for good writing? — I lack the words to properly describe such a far-reaching question. I personally refuse to judge the quality of my work (except, occasionally, if it's done relative to other things I've done), and I don't like to boil down the art of criticism to simplicities that I could write out. More accurately, I'm too tired at the moment to think about such a complex idea...
edited 17th Jul '11 6:20:56 PM by USAF713
I am now known as Flyboy.
vigilantly taxonomish1. Why do you write? Because, I suppose, I'm not a terribly motivated person, and writing is the only thing I respect other people for that I actually enjoy doing enough to persevere with myself. And, I guess, it enables me to express things I find hard to say. Also, I'm studying it at the moment, though that's not really an answer in itself. I suppose it's also the closest I have to a dream right now - writing something of real substance. I have a long way to go yet. 2. What is your chosen genre? The short (but inaccurate) answer is that there isn't one - I rarely set out to write something with a particular genre in mind, and when I do, I tend to mix and match elements of multiple genres rather than stick with the one. Broadly speaking, the majority of works I've written are actually free verse poems. I also write short stories. Sometimes I attempt novels, which invariably incorporate aspects of the fantasy genre, but I've never yet completed one. 3. What are your influences? Poetry-wise, it's hard to say; I daresay I must have poetic influences, but primarily I think I'm influenced by nature, existentialism, Christianity and my own emotions, rather than any specific poets. Imitating another poet's style is something I'd be scared to attempt. Fiction-wise, I'm definitely heavily influenced by the books I read the most as a child: The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Animorphs and Harry Potter. The latter is probably the main influence on my writing style, as it is the writing style I enjoyed the most. (I am also influenced by basically everything else I encounter.) 4. What do you feel makes your voice stand out? Frankly, nothing right now, but I am trying to improve myself. 5. Are your stories plot- or character-driven? Mainly character-driven. On the upside, I think this makes it easier for me to explore more complex ideas, but on the downside, I think it weakens my narratives. I have problems with getting overly attached to my characters, to the point where I'm not only reluctant to write death scenes, but that if a character can't plausibly carry out an intended plot, I'll sooner derail the plot of the story than redesign the character. 6. What are your criteria for good writing? It's difficult for me to make such a list, because I could easily find writers I've enjoyed who break any set of rules I could devise. For example, I could say that I like clear, vivid prose, but I thought The Sound and the Fury was great. In a dramatic work (and, for that matter, in most types of comedic work, as well), I'd say characters who don't behave at all like plausible people are probably the thing that damages my ability to suspend disbelief the most. I do my best to avoid this error in my own writing.
Rabid FujoshiHi. I'm interested in how other people approach their writing, and so I put together a little questionnaire to get a better sense of this:
1. Why do you write?Because it's fun. Because I am picky about what I read and writing things myself the way i want them to be seems more productive than complaining. Because I think I'm pretty good at it. because I like to be able to make people feel intense emotion, Sense of Wonder and Escapism. Also I like cool things.
2. What is your chosen genre?Mostly Fantasy and some Science Fiction, though my actual style is probably somewhat closer to Slice of Life-Fiction writing.
3. What are your influences?Garth Nix, Tamora Pierce, Lois McMaster Bujold, Anne McCaffrey, Robin McKinley, Laurell K Hamilton and Diana Wynne Jones are the big ones. Anime and Manga play a big role as well.
4. What do you feel makes your voice stand out?My thoughts are very logical and critical, so I feel my plots are very tight and make way more sense than most stories manage to, logically. No plot holes here. Also it's not all Doomy Dooms of Doom I have utterly failed at making any story completely tense from front to back, there's always a bit of comedy or clever dialogue, but unlike what I feel most stories are doing nowadays, covering up lack of well-developed plot and characters with snark and repartee, it's not overpowering and never shows up inappropriately. Also, the characters act like PEOPLE and not the same carbon copy characters (especially heroines) showing up in every-singe-urban-fantasy-story these days.
5. Are your stories plot- or character-driven?Definitely character-driven. I find straightly played plot-driven stuff boring, and the side romances they tack on to try and lure in the character-driven camp to be lame and unrealistic. The greater plot in my works is usually a way to get characters to interact, and display their thoughts, feelings and motivations.
6. What are your criteria for good writing?Criteria for writing: 1. It makes sense. 2. It makes me feel something. 3. It isn't boring. 4. It's readable (in terms of grammar or style) 5. It brings something new to the table or plays with old concepts in a way that feels fresh. If something I start to write doesn't meet all of them I usually just stop and try something else. I have yet to finish anything however.
edited 17th Jul '11 11:20:29 PM by NoirGrimoir
SPATULA, Supporters of Page Altering To Urgently Lead to Amelioration (supports not going through TRS for tweaks and minor improvements.)
"The grandness of the ideas. Whether or not they're good, they're always big when I write them, whether it's a million warships in space or a million soldiers in the trenches, I almost can't write "small things."" I wouldn't say writing on a large scale is rare or unusual. High fantasy, for one, is an extremely prolific genre, and it's all about size and numbers.
edited 18th Jul '11 6:01:22 PM by kashchei
Street Writing Man
1. Why do you write? Sounds pretty straight forward, but do you write because you feel like there is a story you want to tell, or because there are certain ideas you want to get across, or because there are characters whose histories and lives you want to explore, or because...? Is it for fun, profit, a combination of both?All of the above. I like telling stories * and people tell me I'm good at it so I keep doing it. I want to make a living at it, but I've no aspirations to wealth or fame; just a good living doing something I enjoy that enriches peoples' lives.
2. What is your chosen genre? Is it fiction, nonfiction, realism, fantasy, magical realism, satire, etc.? Do you incorporate different styles and genres into your writing?Fiction is my primary love; as to genre, I'm all over the place...it'd be easier to list the genres I don't write in rather than the ones I do. I tend to avoid hard SF and high fantasy (both are too dry for my tastes...this is strictly personal so feel free to disagree), and I'm not overfond of anime/manga-related works or influences. My main projects are a Steam Punk - ish series and a post-apocalyptic RPG setting, but I take breaks to play around with cyberpunk, noir, and urban fantasy (my guilty pleasure) for a change of pace.
3. What are your influences? Are there writers whose prose or world-building skills or ideas you particularly admire? In your writing, do you try to adopt and emulate your influences?In terms of prose, my favorite author is Daniel Keys Moran. He takes the Gibsonian cyberpunk ideal and distills it down to the bare essence, adding a dash of deadpan snark that is a joy to read. Several of my short cyberpunk stories are basically me trying to be him. I also respect George R.R. Martin for his world-building, Jim Butcher for his productivity (how many books has he churned out in the last decade??) and Tom Clancy for his exhaustive research. For the classics, Bram Stoker's Dracula stands out as the most influential; I read it once a year to keep my vocabulary sharp. I used to be very fond of Mercedes Lackey * , but these days I use her works more for examples of things I'd rather not do then anything else. For recent works, I am a fan of Stieg Larsson; yes, he's not a good writer and he breaks all the rules of plot cohesion, but the Millennium Trilogy has a certain authenticity to it that keeps bringing me back.
4. What do you feel makes your voice stand out? Most people write, even if it is only on occasion, and even if they don't talk about it. What makes your story worth telling?Characters. I spend a lot of time thinking of how these people think, feel, act, react and dream because I want them to be real. First they have to be real to me.
5. Are your stories plot- or character-driven? Would you compromise your ideas for a character, or would you be willing to deal with your characters harshly in order to make a point?Character-driven. If I don't feel a character would do a thing or behave in a certain way, the plot has to change. That said, I ascribe to the commandment of writing that reads "Thou Shalt Not Let Thy Protagonist Get Any Rest"
6. What are your criteria for good writing? Do you meet them? What kind of writing faux-pas eliminate your suspension of disbelief and makes you unable to continue reading?Thin characters turn me off quicker then anything else. Plot, IMO, is merely the hook one hangs a good cast on. There are only so many stories, but the cast is as limitless as the population of the universe. Do I meet this criteria? I think I do, but I also think there is room for improvement.
edited 18th Jul '11 6:53:56 PM by drunkscriblerian
If I were to write some of the strange things that come under my eyes they would not be believed. ~Cora M. Strayer~
1. Why do you write? I don't know, really, it's just something I've always had the urge to do, ever since I was old enough to string sentences together into a story. (I think my family still has some of the "books" that I dictated to my dad when I was about three, before I could write them down myself.) If I were feeling really pretentious, I would say that I write because I can't not. 2. What is your chosen genre? Fantasy and SF, mostly; sometimes horror. And sometimes weird overly-poetic short stories that fall more on the Magical Realism side. I've attempted historical fiction too, on occasion. Really, I think I'll write anything besides straight-up litfic... oh, and mysteries, which I would love to be able to write, but it's not a genre for people who suck at plotting. 3. What are your influences? Consciously speaking, I try not to emulate anyone in particular, but I'm sure if someone other than me looked at my writing they'd see all sorts of things taken from books that I like. Writers that I've tried to be in the past include Tamora Pierce, Terry Pratchett, and Ursula K. Le Guin; those are probably all still in there somewhere. 4. What do you feel makes your voice stand out? I don't know. I'm not sure it does. 5. Are your stories plot- or character-driven? Character-driven. Really, really character-driven, sometimes at the expense of any plot actually happening. It's a thing I have to work on. 6. What are your criteria for good writing? Do you meet them? Oh, I could go on about this all day. Show, Don't Tell, avoiding such things as Purple Prose, Said Bookism, and Author Vocabulary Calendar (that last particularly annoys me) without going too far the other way, having a plot that either makes sense or is so entertaining that I don't care, making characters engaging, believable, and distinct from one another, solid worldbuilding if applicable, a modicum of originality... the list goes on. Of course, there are authors/books that I like even though they fail on one or more of these points, so these aren't really absolute "you must do it this way or I will hate your book!" things. I can tell you for sure that I don't meet my own standards, though, and I probably never will. (I especially struggle with Show, Don't Tell, which is funny considering how much it annoys me when other people do it.)
For what it's worth, I think "show, don't tell" is very misunderstood. I shudder when I hear advice like, "Don't describe her hair! Tell us about how it fluttered in the wind or gleamed in the moonlight! Use verbs!" It's supposed to be about your plot and your narrative complementing one another. Telling is an indispensable tool, especially when you're working with unreliable narration. All you want to avoid is taking your descriptions for granted, and expecting your reader to do likewise.
Street Writing ManGood point, kash. Show, Don't Tell has turned into cop-out advice for people who don't know how to tell someone the story didn't hook them but can't say why. It's become a synonym for Bad Writing, which isn't necessarily correct IMO.
If I were to write some of the strange things that come under my eyes they would not be believed. ~Cora M. Strayer~
It's true that it's overused, but I don't think that necessarily makes it not a valid criticism. What I meant specifically in regards to my own trouble with it is that I've been told that I have a bad habit of stating how characters feel — going "she was nervous"/"he was surprised"/"'blah blah blah', she said angrily" — much too often, rather than using other methods to demonstrate that they feel that way. I also tend to use too much summary and too little scene, which is at least a related problem.
Writer's Welcome WagonAnd for me, no matter how much I try, I don't write enough. Eight pages for a chapter takes a lot of effort without stuffing a lot of content into it.
^^ In instances such as those, showing can feel very forced. There's really no reason to dedicate five lines to depicting the many ways in which someone is betraying their nervousness when "[s]he was/felt nervous" does the job. (There might, however, be a reason to omit such statements of passing feelings in general, if they contribute little to the scene in question.) Showing versus telling is good advice when showing is more succinct than the alternative, e.g. mentioning a wedding ring instead of saying that one is married, or a basketball instead of saying that one plays sports. It is not good advice when you're substituting a short scene for a simple adjective.
edited 18th Jul '11 9:06:11 PM by kashchei
watching down on us
Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
"Your addendum to this question is silly. Just because you like your character too much to kill him off does not make the story character-driven, and vice-versa." Oh my, no shit. That's why the question was an addendum, not an amendment of any sort, as it was supposed to ask something entirely different, though related. "My chosen genre is LITERARY." Your medium might be a literary one, but a genre is something quite different.
edited 18th Jul '11 9:31:52 PM by kashchei
The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
You need to Get Known to get one of those.
Total posts: 49
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